Investors cry foul over FIFO in Central Queensland

Property investors in Central Queensland claim they are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars as mining companies continue to favour 100 per cent FIFO workforces.

Some say the situation has become so dire, investors are planning to lobby the state government for hardship relief.

Lee de Ryk claims wholly FIFO operations had "destroyed the spirit" of Moranbah and other mining towns in Queensland, Daily Mercury reported.

He claims a recent investment in a standard Moranbah development had dropped $300,000 in value.

"We need to put a stop to FIFO," he said.

"There are 200 to 300 people (investors) who have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars from the value of their properties.”

He says property foreclosures are becoming more common in the town as land and house values plummet.

"This week I know two people who have had to foreclose their properties.

"I know one person who bought a property valued at $910,000 and this week sold it for $199,500."

The comments come after BMA released plans to build a new 3000-room workers camp in the area as part of plans to develop its new Red Hill mine as well as expand underground coal mines Broadmeadow and Goonyella Riverside.

The project will generate 2000 jobs in construction and an additional 1500 in operation and the miner says a flexible 100 per cent FIFO workforce is needed for the projects.

However critics say there is more than enough housing at affordable prices in the region to sustain a local workforce.

"You can't keep building mining camps. People don't really understand that these camps have killed the spirit of mining towns,” de Ryk said.

"FIFO workers now get on a plane or a bus and go straight to their camp and work there seven days on and fly back. They don't even see Moranbah and they don't spend any money in the town."

BMA’s plan has prompted Isaac Mayor Anne Baker to urge the Queensland state government to reject the mining camp proposal.

"If the Queensland Government condones 100% forced FIFO work practices at Red Hill, they are effectively allowing BMA to cut jobs in the region and lay the foundation for regional decline,” Baker said.

A BMA spokeswoman said flexible employees need to be retained given the uncertain timing of the expansion plans.

The company's plans are currently before Queensland’s Co-ordinator General.


To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.